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New York, NY (UCCA) -- The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the nation’s largest representation of Americans of Ukrainian descent, welcomes Ambassador Kurt Volker’s recent statement that the United States is considering sending lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine to help Ukraine "defend itself if Russia were to take further steps against Ukrainian territory."

Ambassador Volker departed for Ukraine shortly after his appointment as the United States’ Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations earlier this month. After spending the day at the front lines and the adjoining demarcation zone, he correctly assessed that the conflict is a “hot war” and not a frozen conflict.  Coming days after Russia’s bloodiest attempted advance in 2017, which took the lives of 17 Ukrainian soldiers and left dozens more injured, Ambassador Volker, publically stated that Russian “aggression” is to blame for violence in eastern Ukraine and this crisis needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. To better engage in the peace process, Volker added that a new strategic dialog with Russia is needed, one that is based on the principles of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and a change in Russia’s approach.

The UCCA has repeatedly called for the United States to provide lethal defensive assistance to Ukraine, and the newly-appointed US Special Representative’s recent remarks give us hope that the United States will seriously take into consideration stepping up our efforts to address the continuing national security threats Russia poses not just to Ukraine, but to the stabilizing transnational, trans-Atlantic security framework that first emerged after the Second World War. 

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